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Midwest cork road bed

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Midwest cork road bed
Posted by Kikkertje on Sunday, February 4, 2024 11:06 PM

I am building my first model rail road, and am starting to lay my cork roadbed,  I am using Midwest cork.  I watched a few videos from model rail roader.  When i seperate the halves of the cork, I have one slightly rougher side and I tried to remove the iregularities with a sanding sponge, but whatever I do I do not get a nice bevel on that side. It is almost straight down, not 45 degrees like the "clean side".  Am I doing something wrong or is this normal?

Tags: Cork , roadbed
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  • From: Bradford, Ontario
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Posted by hon30critter on Sunday, February 4, 2024 11:21 PM

Hi Kikkertje,

How coarse is the sanding sponge? In my experience, using a very coarse sandpaper worked best.

Also, the sanding sponge may be a bit too flexible to form the desired slope. It may be bending around the rough edge instead of cutting it down. Perhaps try using a coarse sandpaper wrapped around a short wood sanding block. Hold the block on an angle that matches the desired slope so that you can exert force directly on the rough edge.

Cheers!!

Dave

I'm just a dude with a bad back having a lot of fun with model trains, and finally building a layout!

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Posted by maxman on Monday, February 5, 2024 1:12 AM

When you split the cork strip you will end up with two pieces, each piece having a beveled edge and a square, or straight, edge.  It almost sounds like you are trying to bevel this straight edge.

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Posted by FRRYKid on Monday, February 5, 2024 3:15 AM

I think I know what your looking at. Every once in a while when you separate the Midwest cork pieces one of the beveled edges does come up a bit ragged. (To use a imjection molding term "Flash".) There is a 1/8" or so piece of cork that hangs off the beveled edge. You can either just carefully peel it off or trim it with a sharp hobby knife.

"The only stupid question is the unasked question."
Brain waves can power an electric train. RealFact #832 from Snapple.
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Posted by kasskaboose on Monday, February 5, 2024 5:42 AM

Does the sanding matter if you plan to cover the cork with ballast? 

I ask b/c I have ME cork and never worried about sanding.

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Posted by Track fiddler on Monday, February 5, 2024 6:45 AM

Good morning

Cork is some tough stuff, and known to laugh at you when you go to cut or shape it.  It's been my experience, many blades fresh out of the package are too dull to cut cork with ease.  Seem to remember using a carpet knife.  Sometimes the best choice for cutting a tough medium is a knife that's extremely sharp. 

Those double edge swords are unforgiving and deserve the up-most respect though.  One only had to bite me once, before learning another valuable lesson in my youth.  They cut like a hot knife through butter.

 

TF

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Posted by rrebell on Monday, February 5, 2024 7:40 AM

Always found it best to lay the cork and once dry (I used caulk as glue), I used an x-acto to rebevel the edge, fast and easy.

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Posted by York1 on Monday, February 5, 2024 9:22 AM

maxman
When you split the cork strip you will end up with two pieces, each piece having a beveled edge and a square, or straight, edge.  It almost sounds like you are trying to bevel this straight edge.

I don't think that's the issue, since I also have had this problem.  It has varied at times when I have bought the cork.

Separating it does not give two beveled edges.  On some of the Midwest cork you end up with one beveled edge, one slightly beveled but rough edge, and two straight edges.  I have wondered if this happens because of the way the cork is scored to make it separate.

When this happens, I don't worry about it too much since I am ballasting the track later and this problem disappears.

York1 John       

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  • From: Ontario, Canada
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Posted by ontarionscaler on Tuesday, February 6, 2024 6:07 AM

Track fiddler

  It's been my experience, many blades fresh out of the package are too dull to cut cork with ease.  Seem to remember using a carpet knife.  Sometimes the best choice for cutting a tough medium is a knife that's extremely sharp. 

 

I just got busy with a pair of scissors when trimming my cork. Seemed to work just fine. Then again, I didn't bother cleaning that one edge, which I imagine wouldn't be easy with scissors, especia on N scale cork.

"Keep your stick on the ice" - Red Green

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Posted by Track fiddler on Tuesday, February 6, 2024 7:22 AM

Good morning

ontarionscaler

 

 
Track fiddler

  It's been my experience, many blades fresh out of the package are too dull to cut cork with ease.  Seem to remember using a carpet knife.  Sometimes the best choice for cutting a tough medium is a knife that's extremely sharp. 

 

 

 

I just got busy with a pair of scissors when trimming my cork. Seemed to work just fine. Then again, I didn't bother cleaning that one edge, which I imagine wouldn't be easy with scissors, especia on N scale cork.

 

Hello, Can certainly appreciate that, Ontario guy.  Makes me wonder if you have a pair of Fiskars scissors from Findland over thereWink

A big part of the reason a carpet knife was chosen to lay cork, is it usually takes several passes to slice cork with an exacto blade.  Cork is dense, and likes to grip the side of the blade causing resistance. 

Cutting cork towards yourself is about the only practical way to do it, therefore resistance can be a bit dangerious sometimes.  A carpet knife blade is thinner, and there's something about that polished high carbon steel, along with the extreme angled bevel for the blades edge.  It allows it to slice through a dense medium quite a bit easier.  Less resistance equals less effort, often cutting through in one pass.

 

Bevels had to be cut for some of the turnout beds.  The steep angles for the yard ladders was found difficult with an exacto, and the tips of the cork would usually break off. 

 

My carpet blade stock is doing rather well these daysIndifferent  KiddingLaugh

 

TF

 

PS  That yard ladder is going to have to be redone with some cork separation, and the blueprint of the ore loader increased 15%Tongue Tied

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Posted by gmpullman on Tuesday, February 6, 2024 7:41 AM

I like to use the Stanley 'Surform' rasp tool to take off the top egde of the bevel. 

 stanley-surform by Edmund, on Flickr

Keep the vacuum handy as it creates a lot of crumbles. I'll also use the Surform 'Pocket Plane' which is about 5 or 6 inches long and it will knock off the high spots on the track laying surface, too.

If that top of the beveled edge isn't fully smoothed off it does cause a few extra steps in the ballasting process and I've had to redo a few areas where I missed smoothing some.

Good Luck, Ed

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Posted by ontarionscaler on Tuesday, February 6, 2024 9:33 AM

 

 

 
 
 
 

 

 

I just got busy with a pair of scissors when trimming my cork. Seemed to work just fine. Then again, I didn't bother cleaning that one edge, which I imagine wouldn't be easy with scissors, especia on N scale cork.

 

 

 

Hello, Can certainly appreciate that, Ontario guy.  Makes me wonder if you have a pair of Fiskars scissors from Findland over thereWink

 

 

[/quote]

Funny thing is that I do use those Fiskars scissorsStick out tongue 

Thanks for the advice my friend.

"Keep your stick on the ice" - Red Green

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Posted by Track fiddler on Tuesday, February 6, 2024 6:38 PM

Evening

ontarionscaler

Funny thing is that I do use those Fiskars scissorsStick out tongue 

Thanks for the advice my friend.

 
LaughLaughLaugh  Now why does that not surprise me Ontario guy?
 
My Judy doesn't even know about my pair of Fiskars scissors.  Don't need her cutting any Fancy Fabric or Wool with those.
 
Mine are kept hidden in my modeling tool stash under my railroad.  She certainly knows better then to ever look under thereLaugh
 
 
 
TF
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Posted by kasskaboose on Tuesday, February 6, 2024 8:34 PM

rrebell

Always found it best to lay the cork and once dry (I used caulk as glue), I used an x-acto to rebevel the edge, fast and easy.

 

 
It certainly works!  I use white school glue instead.  I find it easier to re-apply the cork after I need to make layout adjustments.  Even after laying track I find sometimes the curves are too tight.  While done with worrying about this, nice having the option to quickly remove cork and reapply without damaging the cork.
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Posted by Track fiddler on Tuesday, February 6, 2024 8:52 PM

Huh, Alex Plus was the choice over here.  Peeled right up and was repurposed for the change by the sawmill. 

That cork is probably 1/128th taller, which is almost one and a quarter inches higher in N scale. 

Good thing no double stacks or auto rack cars ever need to go down thereLaugh...Wink

 An inch or few can be a mile sometimesWhistling

 

TF

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Posted by hardcoalcase on Tuesday, February 6, 2024 9:16 PM

Another vote for the Stanley 'Surform' rasp Thumbs Up.  I have both the pocket plane and the longer 5.5" tool - which I prefer.  It takes only a quick pass or two to soften the top of the bevel.

I also use the larger rasp to make the sloping transition from the regular roadbed thickness down to the 1/8" cork which is under my spurs and yard tracks.  The 1/8" cork is sold in rolls at craft stores such as Hobby Lobby.

Jim

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Posted by Track fiddler on Tuesday, February 6, 2024 9:22 PM

Don't seam to remember having a problem getting rid of that rough edge on top at the modeling board.

 

TF

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Posted by PC101 on Wednesday, February 7, 2024 12:22 AM

hardcoalcase

Another vote for the Stanley 'Surform' rasp Thumbs Up.  I have both the pocket plane and the longer 5.5" tool - which I prefer.  It takes only a quick pass or two to soften the top of the bevel.

I also use the larger rasp to make the sloping transition from the regular roadbed thickness down to the 1/8" cork which is under my spurs and yard tracks.  The 1/8" cork is sold in rolls at craft stores such as Hobby Lobby.

Jim

 

This is also my ticket to remove that rough edge. With a light touch, it has been working out just fine for 9 different layouts in the last 40 years.    

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Posted by riogrande5761 on Thursday, February 8, 2024 6:31 AM

I prefer to sand the rough edge of cork with a sanding block with course sand paper or a course sanding sponge like used for drywall mud.

Rio Grande.  The Action Road  - Focus 1977-1983

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